MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Melissa Zygowicz fulfills Gregory Leon, head chef and proprietor of Amilinda in downtown Milwaukee, who’s using his home to do good.
On the intersection of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, you’ll get hold of Amilinda, an intimate restaurant within the coronary heart of downtown Milwaukee.
“I convey to anybody, Amilinda is like System 9 3/4, you gotta comprehend it really is there to part into the magic. If not, you possibly can shortly simply stroll by, however you positively is not going to know what exists all once more listed right here,” bar lead Blaine Davis Reed defined.
The meals gadgets is impressed by dishes from Spain and Portugal. Each 7 days the menu completely modifications.
Gregory Leon is the chef and operator. He grew up in Venezuela prematurely of transferring to the U.S. when he was 18. His expertise residing overseas is what influenced him to come back to be a chef and open up up Amilinda.
“It’s named after my mom and father, so Amilinda is a mixture of their names. It was a labor of wish to open up this put. Had a substantial amount of good family and friends arrive and help us get it off the bottom,” Leon mentioned.
Leon has been within the sector for greater than 30 years.
“18 of individuals in San Francisco. Began out off as a line cook dinner dinner, pantry put together dinner,” he claimed.
He moved to Milwaukee simply after going to an in depth pal. He skilled been looking out for a brand new city to open up a restaurant.
“Milwaukee was not on my radar. I needed to look it up on a map… I arrived on the shut of summer season season and simply really fell in recognize with the city, and all individuals was simply so welcoming,” Leon defined.
As a result of opening in 2015, Leon has constructed it his mission to not solely make unbelievable meals, however to additionally make a variance.
“My mothers and dads cooked at dwelling on a regular basis and positively confirmed us that meals and cooking is greater than a necessity, it was one factor we are able to do to specific our take pleasure in for different individuals right this moment or make the neighborhood a superior space,” he mentioned
And he has completely carried out that in his fast time on this article. Leon served preserve dozens of women and men preserve afloat all through the pandemic.
“With our pal Pastor Karen, we commenced a technique recognized as Hungry Hearts, wherever we recruited 10 different locations to eat and we skilled a schedule that every particular person Saturday, 3 eating locations would cook dinner 100 meals nearly each and in rework, all these eating institutions would receives a commission out a thousand kilos, after which all these meals had been being dispersed to the neighborhood,” he reported.
Much more than 100-thousand kilos was elevated and provided out.
“Not solely ended up we succesful to feed some individuals right this moment at some stage in the pandemic who might of misplaced their positions or didn’t have assets to feed on their very own, however we had been additionally ready to present revenue once more to eating places so they might preserve their doorways open,” he talked about
On the cease of this month, Leon may even change round to his cafe to cooks in Milwaukee who’re refugees. He’s having factor within the Tables All through Borders sequence with two different eating locations.
“Tricklebee Cafe and Lazy Susan. There may be 9 dinners.”It was a began by Kai Mishlove and it focuses on refugees who’ve been relocated to Milwaukee.”
Refugees from worldwide places like Karen, Ethiopia and Afghanistan will take above his kitchen, planning delicacies from their native place.
“Despite the fact that I’m not a refugee and have certainly not been, I do know what it’s wish to go to a special nation and staying in a particular society and never pretty know what is probably going on,” Leon mentioned. “100 p.c of people revenue go to refugees to allow them to get established in Milwaukee.”
Leon was additionally simply considered a prime rated chef himself.
He’s a finalist for a James Beard award.
“The James Beard award is just like the Oscars for the culinary setting,” Leon talked about.
He’s a finalist for best chef mid-west. This award had usually been a aspiration of his.
“I had consistently said if I created semi-finals, I might be high-quality. I’d be full. That was fantastic and a few thirty day interval later they launched the finalists and that was very a shock,” he reported.
Though Leon is focused on constructing nice meals, he hopes Amilinda will go on to make a major variance.
“I come to really feel prefer it’s a spot the place individuals can are available in, overlook their troubles, get pleasure from their existence and never severely fear what is definitely occurring over and above individuals doorways,” Leon claimed.